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to the commons; which bill prayed, That the lands of accountants, whereof they were seized when they entered upon their office, might be liable to their ar. rears to the queen. But the commons desired, That the bill might not look back to accountants that were already, but extend only to accountants hereafter. But the lord treasurer said, “ Why, I pray you, if

you had lost your purse by the way, would you “ look forwards, or would you look back? The queen

hath lost her purse. 27. The lord keeper, Sir Nicholas Bacon, was asked his opinion by my lord of Leicester, concerning two persons whom the queen seemed to think well of: “ By my troth, my lord, said he, the one is a

grave counsellor; the other is a proper young man; “ and so he will be as long as he lives."

28. My lord of Leicester, favourite to queen Elizabeth, was making a large chace about Cornbury-park; meaning to inclose it with posts and rails; and one day was casting up his charge what it would come to. Mr. Goldingham, a free spoken man, stood by, and said to my lord, “ Methinks your lordship goeth not “ the cheapest way to work.” Why, Golding“ ham ?" said my lord. " Marry, my lord,” said

Goldingham, “ count you but upon the posts, for “ the country will find you railing.

29. The lord keeper, Sir Nicholas Bacon, was asked his opinion by queen Elizabeth of one of these monopoly licences ? And he answered, “ Madam, « will you have me speak the truth? Licentia omnes deteriores sumus :

We are all the worse for licences."

30. My lord of Essex, at the succour of Roan, made twenty-four knights, which at that time was a great number. Divers of those gentlemen were of weak and small means; which when queen Elizabeth heard, she said, “ My lord might have done well “ to have built his alms-house, before he made his


31. The deputies of the reformed religion, after the massacre which was at Paris upon St. Bartholomew's


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day, treated with the king and queen-mother, and some other of the council, for a peace. Both sides were agreed upon the articles. The question was, upon the security for the performance. After some particulars propounded and rejected, the queen-mother said, “ Why, is not the word of a king sufficient “ security ?" One of the deputies answered, “ No,

by St. Bartholomew, madam.”

32. There was a French gentleman speaking with an English, of the law Salique; that women were excluded from inheriting the crown of France. The English said, “ Yes; but that was meant of the “ women themselves, not of such males as claimed by 5 women.”. The French gentleman said, “ Where “ do you find that gloss?" The English answered, “ I'll tell you, Sir: look on the backside of the re“ 'cord of the law Salique, and there you shall find it « indorsed :" implying there was no such thing as the law Salique, but that it is a mere fiction.

33. A friar of France, being in an earnest dispute about the law Salique, would needs prove it by Scripture; çiting that verse of the Gospel ; Lilia-agri non laborant neque nent: the lilies of the field do neither labour nor spin ; applying it thus : That the flower-de-luces of France cannot descend, neither to the distaff, nor to the spade: that is, not to a woman, nor to a peasant.

34. When peace was renewed with the French in England, divers of the great counsellors were presented from the French with jewels: the lord Henry Howard, being then "earl of Northampton, and a counsellor, was omitted. Whereupon the king said to him, “ My lord, how happens it that you have not “ a jewel as well as the rest ?." My lord answered, according to the fable in Æsop; Non sum Gallus, itaque non reperi gemmam.

35. The same earl of Northampton, then lord privy seal, was asked by king James, openly at the table, where commonly he entertained the king with discourse; the king asked him upon the sudden, “ My " lord, have you not a desire to see Rome?” My lord privy seal answered, “ Yes indeed, Sir.” The king said, “ And why?” My lord answered, “ Be

cause, if it please your majesty, it was the seat of “ the greatest monarchy, and the seminary of the “ bravest men of the world, whilst it was heathen: “ and then, secondly, because afterwards it was the “ see of so many holy bishops in the primitive “ Church, most of them martyrs.” The king would not give it over, but said, “ And for nothing else ?" My lord answered, “ Yes, if it please your majesty, “ for two things more: the one, to see him, who, they “ say, hath so great a power to forgive other men “ their sins, to confess his own sins upon his knees “ before a chaplain or priest: and the other, to hear “ Antichrist say his creed.”

36. Sir Nicholas Bacon being appointed a judge for the northern circuit, and having brought his trials that came before him to such a pass, as the passing of sentence on malefactors, he was by one of the malefactors mightily importuned for to save his life; which, when nothing that he had said did avail, he at length desired his mercy on account of kindred.

“ Prithee,” said my lord judge,“ how caine that in ? ” Why, “ if it please you, my lord, your name is Bacon, and “ mine is Hog, and in all ages Hog and Bacon have « been so near kindred, that they are not to be sepa66 rated.” « Ay, but,” replied judge Bacon, "you and \ I cannot be kindred, except you be hanged; for “ Hog is not Bacon until it be well hanged.”

37. Two scholars and a countryman travelling upon the road, one night lodged all in one inn, and supped together, where the scholars thought to have put a trick upon the countryman, which was thus: the scholars appointed for supper two pigeons, and a fat capon, which being ready was brought up, and they having sat down, the one scholar took up one pigeon, the other scholar took the other pigeon, thinking thereby that the countryman should have sat still, until that they were ready for the carving of the capon; which he perceiving, took the capon and laid it on his trencher, and thus said, “ Daintily contrived, every man a bird.”



Julius Cæsar did write a collection of apophthegms, as appears in an epistle of Cicero; so did Macrobius, a consular man. I need say no more for the worth of a writing of that nature. It is pity Cæsar's book is lost : for I imagine they were collected with judgment and choice ; whereas that of Plutarch and Stobæus, and much more the modern ones, draw much of the dregs. Certainly they are of excellent use. They are mucrones verborum, pointed speeches. The words of the wise are as goads, saith Solomon. Cicero prettily calleth them salinas, salt pits, that you may extract salt out of, and sprinkle it where you will. They serve to be interlaced in continued speech. They serve to be recited upon occasion of themselves. They serve if you take out the kernel of them, and make them your own.

I hare, for my recreation amongst more serious studies, collected some few of them* : therein fanning the old; not omitting any, because they are vulgar, for many vulgar ones are excellent good ; nor for the meanness of the person, but because they are dull and flat; and adding many new, that otherwise would have died.

* This collection his lordship made out of his memory, without turning any book. Rawley.



1. QUEEN Elizabeth, the morrow of her coronationi, it being the custom to release prisoners at the inauguration of a prince, went to the chapel; and in the great chamber, one of her courtiers, who was well known to her, either out of his own motion, or by the instigation of a wiser man, presented her with a petition; and before a great number of courtiers, besought her with a loud voice, “ That now this good time, " there might be four or five principal prisoners more “ released : those were the four evangelists and the “ apostle St. Paul, who had been long shut up in an “ unknown tongue, as it were in prison ; so as they “ could not converse with the common people.” The Queen answered very gravely, “ That it was best “ first to inquire of them, Whether they would be “ released or no.”

2. Queen Ann Bullen, at the time when she was led to be beheaded in the Tower, called one of the king's privy chamber to her, and said unto him, “ Commend me to the king, and tell him, that he “ hath been ever constant in his course of advancing me; from a private gentlewoman he made me a “ marchioness; and from a marchioness a queen; “ and now, that he hath left no higher degree of “ earthly honour, he intends to crown my innocency “ with the glory of martyrdom.”

3. His majesty James the first, king of Great Britain, having made unto his parliament an excellent and large declaration, concluded thus; “ I have now

given you a clear mirrour of my mind; use it there

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